Seven African Painted Dog pups were born at Perth Zoo on May 1, 2012. At seven weeks of age, the four male and three female pups were given their first health check this week. The mother and other adult pack members co-operate in taking care of the young pups. The zoo has a conservation program for the wild dogs, which are an endangered species in its native Africa.
As part of their first health check, the pups were weighed, sexed, microchipped and had their individual markings recorded.
The tri-coloured pups spent their first few weeks of life under the watchful eye of their mother, eight-year-old Mara, inside the den where she gave birth.
The African Painted dog is threatened with extinction in Africa where its numbers have declined dramatically due to human actions including road kill, snares, culling by farmers, introduced diseases from domestic dogs and habitat loss/fragmentation. There are thought to be only 3000 of the dogs left in the wild.
In addition to its breeding program, Perth Zoo supports the conservation of African painted dogs in the wild. They have community education programs, and anti-poaching and snare removal programs in Zambia.